July 2, 2017 01:20 AM NPT
By: Ajit Tiwari
BIRATNAGAR, July 2: Nepali Congress (NC) is believed to have a strong base in Biratnagar Metropolitan City of Morang district, which is the only metropolis that took part in the second phase of the local elections. To counter NC's stronghold in Biratnagar, other top four political parties formed electoral alliance in a bid to increase their chances of victory.
The main opposition CPN-UML had forged electoral alliance with Nepal Loktantrik Forum, while the ruling coalition CPN (Maoist Center) was allied with Federal Socialist Forum.
Both Nepal Loktantrik Forum and Federal Socialist Forum had told their alliance that they enjoy second strongest base after NC and assured of victory upon forging the electoral alliance. Now after the successful completion of election and vote counting in progress, it has been clear that the voters defied such electoral alliance and punished them.
Out of the total of 112,830 voters in Biratnagar, 80,477 had cast their votes in the second phase of local elections. About 10,000 votes have been counted as of the third day of vote counting. So far, the parties who had forged electoral alliance have been left behind.
NC mayoral candidate Bhim Parajuli has taken a huge lead against his counterparts who had forged electoral alliance with other parties. From the electoral alliance, Binod Dhakal, who is a common mayoral candidate of UML and Loktantrik Forum, has managed better votes than other alliances. Their deputy mayoral candidate Suchi Chaudhary has garnered much less votes than Dhakal.
Likewise, there is also a huge difference between the votes received by mayoral and deputy mayoral candidates of the alliance of Federal Socialist Forum and Maoist Center.
As per the agreement, their common mayoral candidate was Federal Socialist Forum's Umesh Yadav while Maoist Center's Namita Neupane was chosen as the deputy mayoral candidate.
The alliance, formed with an aim to bring better votes for candidates of both the parties, has failed to meet its objectives due to huge vote gap between mayoral and deputy mayoral candidates. The stark difference has left the alliance in turmoil, prompting the leaders to criticize the public of betrayal.
Nepal Loktantrik Forum lawmaker Pawan Kumar Sarada acknowledged that they did not get the expected result from the alliance. “The alliances failed as voters loyal to the parties didn't vote for the their candidates. The difference between votes received by mayor and deputy mayor is very huge,” he said. Representatives of other parties too expressed similar views.